New & Noteworthy
VegAustin.com is a website that lists all the vegetarian-friendly eateries in Austin in one handy place. It is the brainchild of the group Compassion Over Killing, a tiny nonprofit that began many years ago as a high school club in the Washington, D.C., area. Spokeswoman Erica Meier explained to me how VegAustin.com came about.
"Our first site was VegDC.com, and it became so popular that people began calling us from around the country, asking us to do their city. VegPortland.com became our second site, and we got so many requests from Austin that we made it our third. Eventually, we plan to expand around the country, but it is going to take a little time. We only have six people on staff here! Our main focus is exposing, and legally fighting, the cruel practices of factory farming. But if we can make it easier for people to choose a vegetarian lifestyle by providing these guides, that is very much in line with our goals."
VegAustin.com is updated constantly by Austin volunteers, and the format is user-friendly and informative. Restaurants, bakeries, caterers, and grocery stores are all listed, and the listings are broken down into the different geographic areas of town. Each month a particular restaurant or business is featured with a longer review (this month's feature is Veggie Heaven). News and articles of interest to the vegetarian community are listed, such as News 8 Austin's report on raising vegetarian children and Austinist.com's "Vegan Survival Guide."
"We want to make it easier for people to make the compassionate choice, for their own health, the planet, and for animals," Meier says. "It is hard in this country to feel that one person can make a difference. The bottom line is: If your diet doesn't include animal products, you are making a difference – three times a day!"